Thursday, July 05, 2007


OK, I survived Independence day without undue trauma. You see, I just can't stand fireworks. Simulated warfare just dampens my spirits. So, while the rest of the country enjoys their fireworks, I seek out something else of meaning. Thoreau helped. “The Writer’s Almanac” recalled July 4 as the anniversary of the day (in 1845) that Henry David Thoreau moved into his little one-room cabin at Walden Pond. He stayed 2 years, 2 months and two days. So, I spent Independence Day with that very independent man, ignored the fireworks (as much as my two irritated dogs would allow), and had a lovely day of quiet thought: I collected pictures and quotations. I selected these to think on:

Walden Pond, Concord, Mass.

“Things do not change; we change.”
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“What people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can.”
- Henry David Thoreau

“We must have infinite faith in each other. If we have not, we must never let it leak out that we have not.”
- Henry David Thoreau

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
- Henry David Thoreau

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
- Henry David Thoreau

“[People] are born to succeed, not fail.”
- Henry David Thoreau

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”
- Henry David Thoreau

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Higher Laws, 1854

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Conclusion, 1854

"A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature."
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 9. The Ponds